Bitmovin Player | IMA SDK Integration - Removal of AdsManager.skip Functionality

Today, we have an update regarding the Bitmovin IMA integration that might affect your video advertising workflows. Recently, the Google Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDK has modified its approach, leading to the removal of the AdsManager.skip functionality in all client-side SDKs. In this post, we’ll delve into the details of this update and explore its impact on the Player.skipAd functionality when utilizing the Bitmovin IMA integration.

Details of the update

The key alteration in the IMA SDK is the discontinuation of the AdsManager.skip functionality, which allowed skipping ads programmatically and provided flexibility in managing ad playback.

Skipping ads through the IMA Ads UI “Skip Ad” button is still possible and remains unaffected.

We’ve noticed this change in the client-side HTML 5 IMA SDK with version 3.607.0 and reported this on the Interactive Media Ads SDK group. Around last Thursday the 14th of December (the exact time and date is unclear as there is no public announcement from Google around this) the same change took effect on the IMA Android SDK as well as the IMA iOS/tvOS SDKs. Unfortunately, this came without a version change and affects the code in published versions of the IMA SDK & Bitmovin Player SDK in production.

The official statement by the IMA team is the following:

The use of ‘AdsManager.skip()’ is exclusively for skippable ads, when the IMA ad UI (including the skip button) has been hidden. Disabling the IMA ad UI is part of an old beta for custom UI. The allow-list for this feature is closed.

Unfortunately, the public documentation on the AdsManager.skip function currently does not state this. (Web,Android,iOS,tvOS)

Impact on Bitmovin IMA Integration

This change has a direct consequence on the Player.skipAd functionality when utilizing the Bitmovin Player IMA integration across all SDKs.

The following table aims to provide an overview of different advertising workflows and whether they are affected by the above change:

Scenario/Platform HTML5 Android iOS/tvOS
Skipping an ad using the IMA Ads UI :white_check_mark: Not affected :white_check_mark: Not affected :white_check_mark: Not affected
Skipping an ad programmatically :warning: Affected (No longer works) :warning: Affected (No longer works) :warning: Affected (No longer works)
Skipping an ad when the Ads UI is disabled N/A* :white_check_mark: Not affected :white_check_mark: Not affected
Skipping an ad when playing audio only content N/A** :warning: Affected (No longer works) N/A**

* Disabling the Ads UI is not supported on HTML5
** Audio only content without an ad display container is not supported

I am affected by the change, what can I do?

Customers using the Bitmovin Web Player SDK can switch to the Bitmovin Advertising Module where this functionality is fully supported (see Advertising Support and our Advertising Tutorial for Web). Currently, there’s no alternative for this functionality on Android, iOS and tvOS, however, a custom Bitmovin advertising solution for these platforms is planned for our 2024 roadmap.

If you have any further questions, let us know in the comments.